An Open Letter to my High-School Self
I hope you are doing well. Everything here at college seems like I’m living a dream. I can still remember fantasizing about the day when I would finally be on a university’s campus, always wanting something new, something different. I remember wandering those halls in high school feeling concerned about the test I had in an hour, the paper due at midnight, and the speech to give the next day. Assignments always seemed to bundle up on top of one another without ease. But I want you to know that there are so many ways that you can overcome these pressing times. From stepping foot onto a college campus to now, I have learned so much from being in the company of others. I wish I would have learned these lessons earlier on, but for your sake I am going to rely them to you earlier on.
Give yourself time to explore the world around you.
I came in thinking that I was set on what my major and minor interests are, but the more I stepped out of my comfort zone to learn about different career paths, the more I realized that I DON’T KNOW what I want to study or where I want my future to take me. AND THAT’S OKAY! I know you are so set on being that fashion-forward, super-creative architect. And I know that you’re super involved in any business-related activity or competition. But the more that you learn about topics that you haven’t been exposed to before, the more you realize that there is a whole realm of endless possibilities and insight. I am so thankful that I took a class in theater and another in anthropology. Without being willing to try something new for a change, how would I be able to find new passions and academic interests? Your whole world does not have to revolve around the principles of one set career path.
Take time for yourself to destress and recharge your mind.
That daily coffee dose might help you physically get you through the day, but it’s not as easy to do the same with your mind. You have to give yourself time to reflect on your day and come to peace with yourself. I know you far too well. I know that right now, you’re probably overanalyzing the presentation you gave in class and the minor bugs in the delivery. But it is not worth mulling over those small instances. Yes, there are going to be many times when you feel suffocated by commitments and feel like you’re juggling so much more on your plate than you can handle. Trust me when I say that it is okay to let loose sometimes. Go on a walk around the park or a 10-15 minute bike ride. Bake up a batch of brownies from the mix lying in the back of the cupboard. You have been working hard, so you deserve to give yourself a break when you need it.
Finally, don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it.
You’re the type of person to still keep a smile on your face even when you’re wading through rough water because you don’t want to burden anyone else with your problems. But if the going ever gets too tough, don’t shy away from the thought of asking for help. Although I was pretty stressed and anxious in high school, I have to admit that the feeling had persisted in college so far. I’m so thankful that I have a “group”, or for that matter many “groups”, that I can rely on for support when I need it. I am thankful for having the Women’s Network, the business fraternity I rushed into, and all of the clubs I involved myself in. At times, I have faced situations where there was no clear answer on how to address it. However, the comfort of having people by your side who will support and encourage you to keep moving has helped me tremendously. I don’t know what I would have done without the aid and motivation that my family and friends provide me with. Take the advice of Morgan Howell, a contributor to Virtual Campus with the Forte Foundation, into consideration: “You do not have to be a superwoman all of the time. It is perfectly fine to be emotional and need help. Do not try to bottle up all of your emotions because that will only cause more problems to arise.”
Coming to college has definitely been a milestone in my life. I absolutely love the experience and I make it a priority to head into each day with newfound confidence. I am proud of your tenacity to maintain your grades and your perseverance through long exam days. There is more work and more stress that will come your way once you’re in college, but the key is to find a balance. Find a balance that will make you feel proud for hitting all three of the points on the Sleep, Social Life, and Study triangle. When you are faced with the need to choose in between the three, make the choice based on what will make you happy.
Stay positive and keep up the great work!
Asmita Baskar is from Princeton, NJ and is a freshman at Indiana University. She is majoring in Management and International Business and (possibly) minoring in Architecture. She is so happy to be blogging for The Women's Network! In her time off she loves to go on hikes, make DIY crafts, and try new foods.